Emidio de Rogatis (italiano)
midio Natalino De Rogatis was born in Teora, Avellino on December 24, 1963. His father, Raffaele, was a tailor and his mother, Nicolina, an embroiderer. From the time he was a young child, he had a noticeable inclination towards the visual arts, especially collage. There were multiple paternal influences. His father participated in varied activities in his daily life in the little Irpina town. He was an excellent craftsman and accomplished “Minimal Artist”, who impressed and molded the mind and feelings (sensitivity) of his son. He instilled in the young De Rogatis examples of the ways, customs and traditions that went from the sacred to the secular of the historical culture of Teora, one example being the representation of the antique carnival mask – The “Scuaqualacchiun”. He also directed theatrical plays and comedies, after his work experience in Naples and many others… His mother, a modest woman, was daughter of Emidio Porreca, Marshall of the Forest, and commander of the Station in Pietracamela (TE). De Rogatis’ mother gave up her teaching career to stay near her widowed and infirmed mother.
During the childhood of De Rogatis, he enjoyed his visits to the workshops of the town artisans: the cobbler, the carpenter, the blacksmith, the tinsmith, and also that of the dairy, the baker and the iron maker. He sometimes visited the wine bars where he could absorb the ‘flavor’ of the characters who frequented the shops. He was inspired by the Teorese painters that portrayed vistas and glimpses of the little streets of the old downtown and admired their work without criticism.
Passionate about the art of the re-creation of the nativity, he admired as a child the beautiful scenes portrayed by Antonio Restaino, who lives in Novara. Restaino participated many times in national competitions, winning one of them and further made the costumes for the religious performances of Holy Friday. Later De Rogatis also created nativity scenes, wagons with representations and costumes for Holy Saturday.
In 1982, De Rogatis made a replica of the World cup, in terracotta, for the soccer victory of Italy.
He attended the nursery school at the Sisters of the Institute across from his family’s home, where he enjoyed listening to the Mother Superior play the piano. His first childhood games were played with his classmates in the courtyard of the nursery school and in the little garden adjoining the school, “DI ROCCHETIEDDO”, and throughout the many other wonderful and enchanted little streets of the downtown of the village.
After finishing middle school, it was impossible for him to enroll in the Instituo d’Arte di Calitri, because at that time there were no public means of transportation to reach the school. With much regret, he needed to opt for L’Instituto Tecnico per Geometri di Lioni. He received his diploma in 1982, a year and a half after the terrible catastrophic earthquake that hit “Alta Irpinia”, and destroyed 95% of Teora. The earthquake brought with it the loss of so many dear friends, emotional and sentimental loss, and the permanent loss of the pleasant environment of the old downtown (Il Centro Storico).
The earthquake made a strong mark on the future artist, influencing greatly his artistic inclination towards the visual arts in general. Because of this experience, in his work there is a reflection ( also through his play of colors) of the grave human realities and the existential drama that lives today throughout the whole of humankind. The phenomenon of “Globalization”, environmental devastation, religion, the third/fourth world, the deprived in general, human misery, are the social themes that affect the sensibilities of the artist De Rogatis.
In the eyes of non-experts, his art can sometimes be perceived as minimalist, as if ABSTRACT, while on the other hand, those with a more refined perspective pick up something similar to Basquiat (neo-expressionist). Others perceive Action Painting; they define it as “Post Expressionism”, or something that goes beyond the Avant-garde. Others see the informal. In reality, he tries to engage himself in the field of contemporaneous art, with the new flow of Neapolitan painting, which is manifest as ESASPERATISMO. His colleague, Mario d’Imperio, told him that in the work of De Rogatis one sees IL DISAGIO METROPOLITANO, (disruptive city life).
Today, De Rogatis, works for the Region of Campania, after having worked for two years in Naples, and almost four in Avellino. Since 1989, he has worked for the Comune of Teora, where he pursues his interest in research. He is a regular visitor of the library near the Irpino Museum, of the Centro Rete, as well as the Gallery of Art, L’Approdo of Avellino. He has a keen interest in the history of his own town, and of Irpinia, and has plans to publish a book on the customs and traditions of Teora and of Irpinia. Many of his articles tracing local history have been published in provincial dailies. He collaborates with the local Pro-Loco, for which he has been advisor and he has been Secretary with the periodical Voci da Teora.
He is a member of the local choir, in the select voice group, and takes part currently in the group “goliardico” of the Serenades, “The Minstrels of Teora.” This group has recorded a CD with a collection of folk songs, typically Teorese. He participates, moreover, with the Folk group “Paranza Teorese” and co-ordinates the carnevale group of the Scuaqualacchiun. In the past, he was further a supporter of the musical group I VOLSCI, with tours abroad. Impressive was his personal show performed extemporaneously at the locality of the Costa Azzurra in Juan Le Pein “Le Festival.”
A fan of photography, he has participated in diverse shows with the Photoclub Association “Werner Bischof” of Guardia dei Lombardi, and that of Cairano and of Zungoli. For the latter, was a publication, Uno Scatto in Irpinia 2003 with one of his photos. This publication was promoted in the monthly FOTOIT of the FIAF. His other passions are: poetry, collecting wines and Champagne corks, rock music, the circus and dance. A reformed hunter, he is now a prudent archer. He delights sometimes in the preparation of particular dishes for himself and for his friends. He is collaborating for the opening of a new local periodical : L’Eco di Teora.
He was a volunteer for the CRI-Italian Red Cross (COV of Salerno) and of the Confraternita della Misericordia; and was a DJ at the Radio Libera Teora, with the excellent program Carpe Diem.
On many occasions he has participated as actor/protagonist in theatrical comedies, either in the local Teatro Europa or in the province. A devout Catholic, he collaborates with the parish and with the Azione Cattolica. He is a supporter for the opening of dialog with other religions, especially with those monotheistic.
De Rogatis has acquired over time a particular and personal artistic expression, and has matured through his participation in the Laboratorio di Pittura currently in Teora under the auspices of Pro Loco, and also first with his experience in Volturara Irpina at the art lab in L’Associazione Culturale “Il Tiglio”. Currently the artist is member of the Associazione Culturale Avellinese “Arte Europa” and also of the Associazione Culturale “Giordano Bruno” of Castelfrance.
August 8, 2007, in Torella dei Lombardi, a poster was presented of the artists of Irpinia, registered in the Association Culturale, Giordano Bruno of Castefranci, with the intent of promoting the artistic culture of Irpinia artists to the national and international public. In his artistic ventures, he has been able to meet many other painters and sculptors, some of whom are noteworthy internationally, and many critics of art: Leo Strozzieri from Pescara, Leonardo Sciacia from Salerno, Franco Spena from Caltanissetta, Rosario Pinto and Enrico Alamari from Naples, etc.
In recent years he found helpful his friendship with the Professor of Science, Maria Cristi Stefanelli, native of Teora, who lives in Venezuela. She is a teacher of Electronic Engineering, at the Simon Bolivar University School of Physics. Noteworthy are her publications and her international conferences. He is also friends with Robert Brew and his wife Jean Marie Brew. Robert is a Professor Emeritus of Adirondack Community College and Jean is a retired elementary teacher. Jean and De Rogatis have written together the story of Rocco Porreca, father of Jean - Rocky the Rock, the True Story of Rocco and His Family. The story traces the theme of Italian emigration to the United States from the beginning of 1900. The article will soon be published.
De Rogatis has met a myriad of people and has developed some close friendships. Others, he has heard of only through stories handed down because they have gone to a better life. He has always tried to grasp the true essence of people, even from those characters who are part of the most marginalized social classes and are harshly impacted by their environment, but still able to give a valuable contribution to the enrichment of the artist.
Many experts of art have expressed a positive opinion on his works, some of whom are representatives of the American culture and universities.
- Bruno La Verdiere, Professor of ART at Adirondack Community College;
- Rebecca Wasserman, specialist in Computer Visual Arts and editor of some publications of the School of Visual Arts in New York City.